Giant Salvinia Takes Over Caddo Lake

Giant Salvinia Takes Over Caddo Lake

KARNAACK/UNCERTAIN (KYTX) - David Smith has walked out on this pier for years at his business, The Shady Glade Resort in Uncertain, Texas.  He says that the past few years, his lake has turned into this, a floating mat of giant salvinia.
"Our business evolves around the lake. And if we don't have access to it, the customers won't come."
Lee Eisenberg is trying to change that.  The Extensions Specialist with the Caddo Lake Natural Wildlife Refuge says the future of the lake relies on this guy, a tiny beetle called the weevil, the only natural enemy of the Giant Salvinia.
"When there is a problem, people expect to use chemicals. Keep on, keep on, until it becomes apparent that it doesn't work and for people around the lake, they are getting to that point"  
The first traces of Giant Salvinia were found in 2006,  and since then, the Greater Caddo Lake Association reports over a million dollars has been spent in spraying the giant weeds, that now cover 25% of the lake.
"People look for instant gratification, but it takes time.  The weevils will probably take 3-4 years to work."
"These tubs are used to grow thousands weevils, which will than be transported to this lake that is covered in this plant"
The beetles will than reproduce on their own, and live by munching on the Giant Salvinia. According to Eisenberg, it takes 40 weevils to eat 2 lbs of Giant Salvinia in 6 weeks. So they must invest in more weevil production.  The GCLA is trying to help with that. Robert Speight with the organization says they have many fundraisers planned to raise money including a barbecue this Saturday.
"It isn't about how many we need, just what we need for it to be effective."

Fundraising Barbecue

Crips Camp at Caddo Lake.

11 a.m., Saturday, August 31.


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